To speak in sum and in general, he prefers Menander by far; and as to particulars, he adds what here ensues. Aristophanes, he saith, is importune, theatric, and sordid in his expression; but Menander not so at all. For the rude and vulgar person is taken with the things the former speaketh; but the well-bred man will be quite out of humor with them. I mean, his opposed terms, his words of one cadence, and his derivatives. For the one makes use of these with due observance and but seldom, and bestows care upon them; but the other frequently, unseasonably, and frigidly. ‘For he is much commended,’ said he, ‘for ducking the chamberlains, they being indeed not chamberlains (ταμίαι) but bugbears (Λαμίαι).’ And again,—‘This rascal breathes out nothing but roguery and affidavitry;’ and ‘Beat him well in his belly with the entrails and the guts;’ and, ‘I shall laugh till I go to Laughington (Γέλαν);’ and, ‘Thou poor sharded ostracized pot, what shall I do with thee?’ and, ‘To you women surely he is a mad plague, for he grew up himself among these mad worts;’—and, ‘Look here, how the moths have eaten away my crest;’ and, ‘Bring me hither the gorgon-backed circle of my shield;’ ‘Give me the round-backed circle of a cheese-cake;’—and much more of such like stuff.1 There is then in the structure of his words something [p. 12] tragic and something comic, something blustering and something prosaic, an obscurity, a vulgarness, a turgidness, and a strutting, with a nauseous prattling and fooling And as his style has so great varieties and dissonances in it, so neither doth he give to his persons what is fitting and proper to each,—as state (for instance) to a prince, force to an orator, innocence to a woman, meanness of language to a poor man, and sauciness to a tradesman,—but he deals out to every person, as it were by lot, such words as come next to his hand, and you would scarce discern whether he that is talking be a son, a father, a peasant, a God, an old woman, or a hero.

1 See Aristoph. Knights, 437, 455; Thesm. 455; Acharn. 1109, 1124.

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